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The price-conscious young professional

Day 1
I ate a chocolate caramel Zone protein bar on my drive to work. I eat one most mornings, or some type of protein/energy bar, because I typically don’t have time for anything else. Also, I am usually not that hungry in the morning but I think it’s important to eat something. On my drive to work I was listening to a morning talk show on the radio, and they were talking about a new Panera that is opening or just opened in one of the Chicago suburbs. It is one of the Panera Cares pay-what-you can stores. I find this concept extremely interesting and have heard about them before. After listening to all the talk about Panera, I decided that was what I wanted for lunch. I did the You Pick 2 and got half a sandwich with mac and cheese. I usually choose between 2 or 3 sandwiches but I tried a new one today, chicken Caesar sandwich, and it was quite good. The cashier ran my ‘My Panera’ card and told me I had a smoothie/cafe drink that expired today, so that was a nice surprise. I chose a low-fat mango smoothie.

Day 2
I babysat all day so I had to get something to eat at the house of the family I was babysitting for. They always have really healthy stuff, which I like. The mom shops a lot at Whole Foods. I made myself a peanut butter and honey sandwich on whole grain bread. I also had a banana and a snack size bag of Cheezits.

My mom called at about 6 saying she was on her way and was going to stop to get something at Portillos, so I sat at home for about an hour starving. It was worth it: I LOVE Portillos. I’ve never had something there I didn’t like. I just wish there were more around since its kind of a local chain but everyone loves it. I got a char broiled chicken sandwich and a cheese fry. Very good.

Day 3
My mom and I went to the Lemon Tree for lunch, a grocery/restaurant. I got what they called an “antique grilled cheese.” I got a side of french fries because I was afraid the grilled cheese wouldn’t be enough. The fries were $4, very expensive even though they were good.

I was hanging out with my friends later and they were all hungry so we went to Chipotle. It looked really good, but I was still full from my lunch so I just went next store and got a Mango-a-go-go smoothie from Jamba Juice with daily vitamin. We talked about how much we really like Chipotle. One particular thing we discussed was Chipotle’s sour cream, and how much better it was than other sour cream, but how it is obviously still not good for you, which is why one of my friends tried her burrito bowl without it this time (she didn’t think it was as good without the sour cream).

Also, on our way to Chipotle we passed Meatheads Burgers & Fries. The name is honestly why I have never wanted to eat there. I have heard it’s good, but I just have no desire because it seems gross.

Day 4
I helped my mom make a pasta salad for dinner. A few weeks back I found an easy pasta salad recipe on allrecipes.com and we tried it. I am trying to learn to cook a few things since I will be living in an apartment next year for the first time and have to cook for myself. This was one of the things we tried, and I figure it will be nice to make and have around for a couple meals for me and my roommates.

Day 5
Tacos for dinner. The shells in the taco kit were kind of funny because they were all pretty lopsided. The taco kit was a Taco Bell one. It’s funny because I like the seasoning in the taco kit, but I refuse to go to Taco Bell. I think it is absolutely disgusting, especially the meat. It’s strange though because most of my friends and people my age LOVE Taco Bell, and I mean LOVE it.

Day 6
Used my UrbanSpoon app on my phone to see what’s around since I don’t know the area I work in very well. I decided to go to Corner Bakery. I got penne with marinara and an extra side of garlic bread. It was good, but the extra side of garlic bread was not worth $2.

Day 7
I saw a commercial today for a Burger King 4th of July weekend limited time offer. Their original chicken sandwich is only going to be $1.04. If I find myself looking for a meal this weekend, I may go there because that’s a pretty good offer. $1.04 is cheap, and since I’m on a budget it caught my eye. Burger King did a Memorial Weekend offer this summer with smoothies and frappes for $1. My mom and I went, and we both don’t normally go to Burger King but we figured we would try it for $1. The mango smoothie was so good!

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